Idaho’s Own Grand Canyon, Hells Canyon, Looks Even More Spectacular In the Winter
It’s funny how much Idaho’s beautiful landscapes transform throughout the seasons. You can visit one place in summertime and again in wintertime and have a completely different experience. That’s exactly why you should consider revisiting some of your favorite summertime spots this winter. In fact, we can think of one destination that is especially breathtaking during the colder months. Often considered “The Grand Canyon of Idaho”, Hells Canyon is one of those jaw-dropping landscapes that will leave you in complete awe…and it’s even more spectacular in the winter.
Encompassing a remote region that's shared between Idaho and Oregon, Hells Canyon is by far one of the most impressive natural wonders in the country. Many adventurers consider it an excellent spring and summer destination, but we'd argue that winter is also a great time to visit it.
The 10-mile wide canyon is considered North America's deepest river gorge. The canyon itself is part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area which is made up of roughly 215,000-acres, including nearly 900-miles of hiking trails! There's no arguing that Hells Canyon is a bucket list destination, for sure.
Recreation season in the Hells Canyon NRA typically begins in spring and extends through November. However, the great thing about the outdoors is that it never
really closes. Whitewater rafting and kayaking may be out, but there's still plenty to do in the winter season.
First off, there are dozens of hiking trails that are perfect for exploring the canyon and taking in its winter beauty. Popular day hiking trails include Black Lake Campground, Heaven's Gate Trailhead, and Windy Saddle Trailhead—all of which are easily accessible from the town of Riggins.
Additionally, there are plenty of outfitters that will happily take visitors on a jet boat adventure or fishing charter, even in the winter. Based out of Cambridge,
Hells Canyon Adventures offers morning, afternoon, whole day, and overnight jet boat trips all year long.
Alternatively, simply pay a visit to one of the many viewpoints or recreation areas where you can explore at your own pace and in your own way. Popular recreation areas include Hells Canyon Wilderness, Black Lake, Heavens Gate Lookout, and the Seven Devils Recreation Area.
A snow-covered Hells Canyon is definitely a sight worth going out of your way for. Just be sure to take the proper precautions when it comes to driving on icy roads and exploring remote areas. Learn more about the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and what it has to offer year-round at the Forest Service
Have you had the opportunity to visit Hells Canyon this winter? You should get on it soon if you haven’t. For more bucket list winter spots, check out this list of
8 Awesome Places To Visit In Idaho This Winter.
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